The Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS) previously known as the Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) is a Group “A” Central Civil Services of the Union of India (UoI). The service was started in 1972 for the professional management of the finances of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) which were the sole provider of the communications needs of the country.
Moderately, over time the service has crystallized into a professional cadre of over 376 officers. In 2017, 25 officers were recruited through the prestigious Civil Services Examination conducted by Union Public Service Commission(UPSC). This service contributes to the largest share of Non-Tax Revenue collection/assessment for the Government of India.
Recruitment Process for Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS)
After recruitment through Civil Services Exam (CSE), the officers undergo a course with the officers of other services such as (IAS, IFS & Central Services Group “A”) lasting about four months.
This is followed by six months of rigorous professional training in Financial Management at the National Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad, which is a specialized training institute under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
NOTE- The members of the service are recruited through the Civil Service Exam (CSE) conducted by UPSC or by the promotion of Group ‘B’ of P&T Accounts and Finance Service.
Roles and Responsibilities Performed by Officers of Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS) GR. ’A’
- Telecom Licenses pay assessment and Collection of the License fee and Spectrum usage charges.
- Spectrum Auction of 2G, 3G and 4G
- Policy making in the Department of Telecommunications and the Department of Posts.
- Financial Management of the Department of Posts and the Department of Telecommunications.
- Internal Audit of the Department of Telecommunications and the Department of Posts.
- Designated Monitoring Authority of Bharat Net Project (the foundation of Digital India)
- Accounting of Department of Posts and Department of Telecommunications.
- Pension Management of DoT, DoP, BSNL and MTNL.
- HR Development and Capacity Building of IP&TAFS, Gr.’ A”
Training and Probation Period for Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS)
Candidates appointed to the service through the CSE shall be on probation for two years. The Indian Communication Finance Service officers shall attend such training and undergo such examination/tests as may be prescribed from time to time in various training centres as decided by the Body Controlling Authority. The preparation for probationers is as follows:
|1.||Foundation Course||DOPT designated institution||16 days|
|2.||Professional Training Course||National Institute of Finance Management, Faridabad||44 weeks|
|3.||Department Training||National Institute of Communication Finance, Ghitorni, New Delhi||36 weeks|
Besides, the officers also undergo various In-service as well as Mid-Career Trainings from time to time to enhance their skills and personality.
Note- For the latest update/notification regarding CSE 2021, visit this link.
Career Prospects Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS) Officers
The first entry in the service after the exam is at Junior Time Scale in the pay-scale of PB-3 with Rs. 15600-39100+ Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/-) the further promotion can level up to the level of Junior Administrative Grade (NFSG) within 13 years. At present, the highest grade in the team is HAG+ in the scale of pay of Rs. 75500-80000.
In-depth posts and ranks overview:
(A) Role in Department of Telecom
- Assessment: – Assessment of about Rs. 200,000 Crore of Telecom Revenue of all Telecom Operators and determination of Govt. share of the revenue.
- Revenue: Collection of about Rs. 20,000 Crore Non-Tax Revenue as License Fee and Spectrum charges.
- Spectrum: Spectrum Management and Spectrum Auctioning.
- Pension: Pension Authority for about 2.40 Lakh BSNL Pensioners and about 60,000 MTNL Pensioners.
- USO: Project monitoring and Subsidy disbursement of USOF Schemes for Rural Telephony.
- Plan coordination, Budget and Accounting: Plan Rs. 5,800 Crore and Non-Plan Rs. 5,903 Crore and its accounting.
- Asset Management of DoT.
- Integrated Finance Division (IFD) function.
- Controller of Communication Accounts (CCA) function
- Project Appraisal
- Internal Audit
- Handling Legal cases and Arbitration
(B) Role in Department of Posts
- Financial Advice (FA) Function:-DoP HQ as well as at field level
- Internal Audit: 1.5 Lakh Post Offices
- Accounting: about 4 Lakh Crore Receipt and Payments &
- Rs. 34, 000 Crore Insurance Fund.
- Budgeting: Plan Rs. 16,000 Crore and Non-Plan Rs. 800 Crore.
- Tariff and Costing: Postal Products.
- IT function
Postings after the Training Period
IP&TAFS Gr.’ A” officers serve at the Department of Posts and the Department of Telecommunications. Then after successful completion of their training period, the officers may be posted against the vacant Junior Time Scale posts available at that time in various offices. Most of these offices are situated in the State Capitals/metropolitan cities & UTs all over India with HQs at Delhi.
Note- To understand the UPSC CSE – Click on the link: UPSC Posts- Service Allocation According to Rank/Category
Appointments to Other Organizations/Bodies
Besides IP&T AFS, Gr.’ A” officers can be appointed on the delegation to the Central Government, State Governments (SG), Central Staffing Scheme, Autonomous Organizations, PSUs and UN Organizations/International Organizations like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, etc.
Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service Group ‘A’ (IP&TAFS Gr. ‘A’) was comprised in 1973. IP&T AFS Gr.’ A” carries with it an absolute responsibility for posting in India. Most of the posts are at the Metropolitan Cities.
Areas covered in the article
- Postings after the Training period
- Career prospects for Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS) Aspirants
- Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS) Training Programme
- Roles and Responsibilities of an Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS) Officer
- Recruitment process for the Indian Communication Finance Service (ICFS)
Note- Visit the UPSC official site- for more details- https://www.upsc.gov.in/.